Aluminium pergola with a corner sofa underneath

How To Build A Pergola | Your Next DIY Garden Project

Written by: Chelsea Jobe



Time to read 4 min

Everything you need to know about building a pergola

With their charming allure and practical benefits, pergolas serve not only as the perfect functional additions to your outdoor space, but also present stunning architectural features that enhance the beauty and functionality of your backyard.

Although we provide professional pergola assembly services to help you install your structures hassle-free, if you’re looking for an upcoming spring garden project, this will be the perfect way to keep your hands busy! 

Our guide has been designed to allow beginners and experts alike to take on this project, but we will recommend having at least 2-3 people involved in the building process to safely lift and assemble the pergola. Explore our selection online and embark on your pergola-building journey today.

If you have any additional concerns before starting your DIY project, we’ve also written up a comprehensive guide about all things ‘Pergola’, covering what makes our range of aluminium pergolas unique, and the myriad of benefits it has compared to other garden pergolas such as wooden or vinyl pergolas.

Planning Your Outdoor Space

Begin your pergola journey by carefully planning its placement within your outdoor space, as the location will determine what size of pergola would be best, as well as the style. Consider how much of your outdoor area you are willing to use to fit the pergola, as well as what uses you will have for it. Most pergolas are 2.5 metres tall, which allows for seamless fitting against an existing structure with a door to the garden or backyard.

We would advise mounting your pergola on a flat hard surface, avoiding areas with obstructions such as overgrown trees.

If you are planning to install a pergola onto an existing decking, a crucial part of your preparation plan is to ensure the decking has enough structural support underneath to bear the weight of it. A recommendation would be to fit concrete slabs onto the floor of your decks prior to building the pergola as the concrete can help provide sufficient stability for the structure by grounding its legs into the concrete slab bases. Without this, there is a chance your deck planks will suffer damage or break.

📏 The most standard sizes for aluminium pergolas is 3m x 3m3m x 4m and 3m x 6m. You will need to take measurements before ordering to ensure you choose the most suitable size for your space. 

Choosing Your Preferred Pergola Design

After sorting the ideal location for your outdoor accessory, it’s time to consider which specific pergola design you would like. We’ve compiled a list of factors you might want to look at to help aid you in your decision-making process:

  1. What type of roof do I prefer? 

Choose between having a pergola with a manual louvred roof or a motorised louvred roof, either of which will help shield you from the elements throughout the year while also allowing for natural light to enter on good days.

  1. Where should I place the pergola?

Knowing the desired placement of the pergola in relation to existing furniture and structures in the outdoor space influences this decision.

  1. How will the design align with my home's architectural style?

Ensuring cohesiveness between the pergola's design and the existing architecture of the home contributes to a harmonious overall aesthetic.

  1. What additional features or accessories should I include?

Consider options such as electric heaters, privacy screens to enhance the functionality and enjoyment of the pergola, as well as furniture that you want to have in the space.

  1. Will the design require any permits or approvals?

In most instances, you do not need planning permission for a pergola because they are not considered permanent structures. We would advise speaking to your local planning authority before purchasing to double-check.

These decisions will shape the overall aesthetic and functionality of your pergola. For product inspiration, check out our wide selection of pergola products which comes in varying sizes and structure types.

Sketching Your Plan

It’s good to remember to adapt your plan based on your terrain and location. Our aluminium pergola range comes with detailed instructions, including a parts list and a specific step-by-step guide on how to build the pergola. 

A range of tools will be required beforehand to start the assembly.

Tools You’ll Need

While you do not need to be an expert with an extensive tool kit, commonly used tools and equipment are essential to complete the pergola build.


  • Step ladders are a must to safely build the pergola structure and attach the louvres to the roof.

Spirit Level

  • This piece of equipment will ensure the legs of the pergola are straight and level, especially before attaching the privacy screens.


  • A drill is an important tool to connect the parts together as well as securing the legs of the pergola to the surface area. *If you are bolting to porcelain, you will need a 12mm diamond drill piece.    

🔧 We advise 2-3 people to safely lift and assemble the pergola, with a build time of around 4 hours.

Getting Started

Take a moment to familiarise yourself with the parts list and instructions before jumping into the assembly. Check you have all the parts of the pergola and lay them out as well as the range of tools required.

Instructions will vary depending on the pergola model. 

One of the first few steps is drilling the base plates to the leg posts and then attaching the beams to the posts. 

We created a video with small snippets of our experienced assembly team building one of our aluminium pergolas. 

Adding Personal Touches

Create a functional outdoor space with dining sets, which would allow you to enjoy meals or host outdoor intimate gatherings with family and friends in a shaded and atmospheric setting. Alternatively, an arrangement of lounge seating such as sofa sets can help create a cosy outdoor garden area for relaxation and conversation.

Consider incorporating decorative elements such as hanging patio heaters and outdoor cushions for furniture sets. 

Sit Back, Relax And Enjoy The Outdoors In A New Setting

With construction complete, you have transformed your outdoor garden space into a luxurious retreat where you can enjoy the beauty of nature on a whole new level. Pour yourself a refreshing beverage and bask in the tranquillity of your newly created outdoor retreat, be it alone or with the company of your friends and family. With spring at our doorstep and summer just around the corner, it’s now time to start planning exciting events and activities in your outdoor oasis! With your new aluminium pergola, the possibilities are endless.